News Bulletin 81 - Week 3, September 2021

Strict lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City was supposed to end on 15 September but this has now been extended to 30 September. As part of its reopening plans, the city plans to issue green and yellow passes to people who have received 2 jabs and 1 jab respectively.

Meanwhile, HSBC has unsurprisingly lowered GDP projection for the country for 2021.  HSBC has lowered its growth forecast for Vietnam from 7.1 percent to 5.1 percent given the ongoing fourth Covid-19 wave that has disrupted key economic activities.

"The impact of [the Delta] variant as it spread across the country and in particular the economic heartland of Vietnam in the south meant a swift re-introduction of lockdowns and travel restrictions," said CEO of HSBC Vietnam Tim Evans in a recent note.

The past week highlight:

Reopening: Vietnam’s HCMC will resume construction works in the next few days

The HCM City administration has mandated that construction works in low-risk COVID-19 infection areas could resume after September 30 if they meet safety requirements.

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Let’s look at some other related financial and business news during the past week:

1. Hoc Mon wholesale market starts operating transshipment point today

The People’s Committee of Hoc Mon District in Ho Chi Minh City announced that it has approved the operation of a transshipment point in Hoc Mon wholesale market as of September 20. The working hour of this location is from 8pm until 6am the next day.

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2. Vietnamese consumers' demand for shopping groceries online soars amid Covid-19

The ranking of e-commerce businesses in Vietnam's Map of E-commerce changed in the second quarter of 2021, with the volume of searches on Google for essential online stores skyrocketing, according to an iPrice Group study.

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3. Shipping firms lament pandemic sidelining

Shipping firms feel hassled by low vaccination rates and the limited number of road permits for workers. They are requesting more attention and priority policies.

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4. Vietnam weights a tax relief package of VND21.3 trillion

The government considers a support package estimated at almost $940 million, related to tax exemptions and reductions for pandemic-stricken businesses.

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5. Finance Minister affirms State budget sufficiency

Finance Minister Ho Duc Phoc has affirmed that the State budget is enough for expenditures planned by the National Assembly (NA) and the Prime Minister.

Answering reporters’ queries about the State budget situation amid the pandemic at present, Phoc said following the Prime Minister’s directions, ministries, agencies and localities saved at least half of the cost of conferences and working trips at home and abroad, and 10% of other regular expenditures this year to supplement financial resources for the COVID-19 fight and other necessary tasks.

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6. Vietnam's GDP growth may reach 3.5-4 percent in 2021 if pandemic well controlled

If the Covid-19 pandemic is put under good control in September, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth may reach 3.5-4 percent in the whole year, said Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung.

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7. Vietnam, Austria eye cooperation in renewable energy development

Vietnam wishes to promote cooperation with Austria in the field of energy, especially renewable energy and sustainable development, Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien told State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology Magnus Brunner on September 7.

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8. Vietnam to welcome fully-vaccinated foreign tourists from next month

Vaccinated foreign tourists will be welcome at selected destinations as first steps to revive the tourism industry.

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9. Vietrade, Alibaba.com shake hands in supporting SMEs to overcome COVID-19

The Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) and Alibaba.com, the global business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce platform of the Alibaba Group, have jointly launched a programme to support Vietnamese small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in overcoming COVID-19.

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10. HSBC lowers Vietnam’s growth forecast

Lender HSBC has lowered its growth forecast for Vietnam from 7.1 percent to 5.1 percent given the ongoing fourth Covid-19 wave that has disrupted key economic activities.

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